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LAKEWOOD RANCH — Huntyre Elling can break a team’s heart in so many ways.
Last Friday, she pitched a complete game in Lakewood Ranch’s 2-1 victory over Braden River to give the Mustangs the Class 4A, District 10 championship in their biggest win of the season.
On Wednesday night, the right-hander came in and closed the door on Jefferson, giving the host Mustangs a 4-3 triumph in a Class 4A region quarterfinal.
Lakewood Ranch (20-6) took a 4-1 lead into the top of the fifth when starter Brittany Kilduff ran into some trouble. A walk and two singles enabled Jefferson (18-5) to cut its deficit to 4-2, and it still had two runners on base.
Elling threw a wild pitch that gave the Dragons another run, but after that she closed them out. She retired seven of eight batters she faced, striking out five. The only hit she gave up was an infield blooper.
“I just had to settle down and trust my pitches. I was able to get them to chase some pitches outside, and that helped,” Elling said. “Our mind-set for the next game is the same as any. We just want to come out strong. I was out for about 10 games with an ankle injury and came back a couple of weeks ago. Now I am feeling fine.”
Lakewood Ranch hit the ball well, but Jefferson made some spectacular plays in the field, including two catches by centerfielder Daniella Margado.